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POETRY: A Magazine of Verse
Weary of erecting the fragile towers of words,
Went on a pilgrimage to Asama-Yama ;
And seeing the force of the fire
Spouting from this mighty mountain,
Hurled himself into its crater
The paper carp,
At the end of its long bamboo pole,
Takes the wind into its mouth
And emits it at its tail.
So is man,
Forever swallowing the wind.
A wise man,
Watching the stars pass across the sky,
In the upper air the fireflies move more slowly.
THE CAMELLIA TREE OF MATSUE
There was a Camellia Tree of great beauty
The Camellia Tree of Matsue
Whose blossoms were white as honey wax
Splashed and streaked with the pink of fair coral.
When the moon rose in the sky,
The Camellia Tree would leave its place
By the gateway,
And wander up and down the garden,
Trailing its roots behind it
Like a train of rustling silk.
The people in the house,
Hearing the scrape of them upon the gravel,
Looked out into the garden
And saw the tree,
With its flowers erect and peering,
Pressed against the shojii.
Many nights the tree walked about the garden,
Until the women and children
And the Master of the house
Ordered that the tree be cut down.
But when the gardener brought his axe
And struck at the trunk of the tree,
There spouted forth a stream of dark blood ;
And when the stump was torn up,
The hole quivered like an open wound.